Seminary Lawn Party celebrates symbol of 'growth, commitment'

John Corcoran, chair of the 34th Annual Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary, speaks to guests about the ongoing construction of a learning center at the seminary. Pilot photo/Christopher S. Pineo

WESTON -- With 350 guests gathered for the 34th Annual Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary Lawn Party in Weston, Sept. 16, the annual dinner highlighted ongoing construction of a new learning center.

"To the best of my knowledge, this is the first time that the lawn party has been held at an active construction site," said John Corcoran, who chaired the Lawn Party with his wife Julie and their four daughters.

Corcoran said the seminary had raised $8 million for the project slated to cost $9 million. Seminary rector Father William Palardy, who had announced the project at the Lawn Party the year before, said funds continue to come in as construction continues.

Construction of the new learning center -- to include a new library, and make space for 12 new rooms for seminarians -- started in June. With 700 alumni and 75 ordained for Boston over the years, enrollment at the seminary remains high with an incoming class of 19 and 62 enrolled. The new addition and more office space will allow dorm rooms currently used as faculty offices to be used to house more seminarians.

"We're hopeful that when we come together next year you will be able to see and visit the finished product," he told guests.

Seminary staff said the Lawn Party raised around $250,000 which will go toward operational needs and support of seminarians -- who represent 38 dioceses and two religious communities.

Established in 1964, the seminary has provided for the formation of men over age 30 in the United States -- a revolutionary idea at the time, because only one such seminary existed in the world, the Pontifical Beda Seminary in Rome -- over the course of 51 years.

Originally called Pope John XXIII National Seminary, the seminary changed its name over the years as "Good Pope John" progressed toward sainthood. His beatification in 2000 prompted the first name change to Blessed John XXIII National Seminary. With his canonization in 2014 the seminary became Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary.

In keeping with the tradition at the Lawn Party, two enrolled seminarians spoke to guests about their vocations.

Class of 2018 seminarian John A. Maksym, of the Archdiocese of Detroit, previously served in the Navy, as a lawyer, and as a Judge Advocate General before he enrolled in the seminary.

"For me, priesthood has always embodied the highest possible vocation for a Roman Catholic man. From early childhood I became convinced that Christ had big plans for me," he said.

He said he was educated by Augustinians and Jesuits as a young man, but also by the example of his parents whom he called "the finest examples of Catholicism" -- a father who worked as a school principal and a mother who worked as a kindergarten teacher.

He studied at the University of Michigan before his commission in the Navy, graduation from law school, and 31 years as a litigation attorney in public and private service. He served 13 years as a trial and appellate court judge. In the Navy he served aboard a super carrier, testified before congress, personally represented the secretary of defense in federal court, and served in Iraq for eight months during the surge.

"Like each of my brother seminarians, the Lord has been working with me for a very long time indeed. He has honed my skills and loaded me with life experiences, so I in turn may give them to his people.

Class of 2016 seminarian Steven A. Maddaloni, of the Diocese of Rockville Center, worked as a high school teacher previously.

"People wonder sometimes, why become a priest this late in life? They think that something dramatic, something exciting must have happened," he said.

Maddaloni said rather the calling came to him early as a concept, stayed in the back of his mind over time, and was ultimately spurred by a question later in his life.

"He said, 'Steve, do you think God is calling you to a special role in the Church?' It was the most jolting question I had ever been asked," Maddaloni said.

He said the question stayed with him in secret for a long time, and even temporarily closed the door on discernment, but one of his students reignited the fire. Maddaloni asked if the student was considering becoming a priest.

"When he said yes, I was jealous," he said.

A new question came to his mind. If such a young man could know his calling, what about Maddaloni? He said a talk with a priest persuaded him to open the door to vocation again, and that time he chose to walk through it by enrolling at Pope St. John XXIII National Seminary.

"I am thankful to God for bringing me here. I am thankful to God for the men that I have met here. I am thankful to God also for you, who support this seminary. And, I am thankful to God for his patience with me, for waiting me out," he said.

Former rectors present that evening included Msgr. Dennis Sheehan, Msgr. Cornelius McCrae, Msgr. Francis Kelley, and the current vicar general who served as rector just before Father Palardy, Bishop Peter J. Uglietto.

Bishop Uglietto gave remarks on the construction of the learning center. He echoed Father Palardy in his hope that guests next year would see it standing.

"As you know, it's more than just a building. It's a symbol of growth, commitment, the fulfillment of Cardinal Cushing's vision (over) 50 years ago, a much needed resource that will prepare the seminary well into the future," he said.

Nation
Retired Green Bay auxiliary bishop failed to report abuse, withdraws from ministry

Green Bay, Wis., Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- Bishop Robert Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Green Bay, has withdrawn from public ministry saying ...

Nation
Dolan 'impatient' waiting for apostolic visitation in response to McCarrick

New York City, N.Y., Sep 20, 2018 CNA.- The Archbishop of New York said Thursday that while he has confidence in the way Pope Francis is handling the ...

World
Two more Chilean bishops step down in wake of abuse crisis

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Francis accepted the resignations of two more Chilean bishops, bringing to seven the number of bishops who have stepped down ...

Local
Celebration of the Priesthood dinner raises over $1.8 million

BOSTON -- A record 1,700 people attended the 10th annual Celebration of the Priesthood dinner to raise funds for the Clergy Health and Retirement Trust ...

Local
Lawrence parish helps community cope with gas explosion aftermath

LAWRENCE -- Volunteers at St. Patrick Church's Cor Unum Meal Center were serving dinner when multiple natural gas explosions and fires broke out in homes ...

Local
Ceremony, Mass kick off St. Augustine Chapel bicentennial

SOUTH BOSTON -- St. Augustine Chapel and Cemetery began its year-long bicentennial celebration on the weekend of Sept. 14-16 with tours, special Masses, ...

Local
Mass. Knights install new officers

The Massachusetts State Council Knights of Columbus recently held its Installation of State Officers at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Canton with ...

Local
Deal will keep Sancta Maria Nursing Facility open

CAMBRIDGE -- Sancta Maria Nursing Facility announced Sept. 17 that it has negotiated a comprehensive operational contract with Advocate Healthcare Management ...

Local
From Cardinal Seán's blog

As I mentioned in my preface to last week's blog, this week and last, I have been in Rome for meetings related to the work of the Pontifical Commission ...

Nation
N.Y. Archdiocese names judge as independent reviewer on abuse protocols

NEW YORK (CNS) -- New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan has named a former federal judge to study archdiocesan policies and procedures with respect to sexual ...

Nation
U.S. reports poverty declines, but agencies finding needs remain great

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The good news from the U.S. Census Bureau Sept. 12 was that the poverty rate dropped for the third straight year in 2017 and median ...

Nation
Class-action lawsuit filed against eight Pennsylvania dioceses

PITTSBURGH (CNS) -- A class-action lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against eight Catholic dioceses in Pennsylvania demanding the dioceses provide proof that ...

World
Apostolic visitor outlines plans for expansion at Medjugorje shrine

WARSAW, Poland (CNS) -- The Polish archbishop tasked with overseeing Bosnia-Herzegovina's Medjugorje shrine has outlined plans for expansion, including ...

World
Pope names administrator as Indian bishop investigated for alleged rape

MUMBAI, India (CNS) -- Pope Francis has accepted the request of an Indian bishop accused of raping a nun to be relieved of his duties during the investigation. In ...

World
In letters to German cardinal, retired pope defends way he stepped down

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI expressed his displeasure with the way a German cardinal publicly criticized his stepping down as pontiff, ...

Nation
Thousands of Hispanics expected in Texas for Encuentro summit

Fort Worth, Texas, Sep 20, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- As many as 3,000 Catholics of Hispanic background are expected in Texas this week for the National V Encuentro, ...

Nation
Church plans third-party abuse reporting system, code of conduct

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pledging to "heal and protect with every bit of the strength God provides us," the U.S. bishops' Administrative Committee Sept. 19 ...

World
Be grateful to parents, never insult them, pope says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Honoring mothers and fathers means being grateful for the gift of life and Christians should never insult anyone's parents, Pope ...

World
Canadian cardinal: Women should help screen, train priest applicants

Poznan, Poland, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- Increasing the role of women in screening and training priests is among the steps that should be taken to prevent future ...

World
Vatican delegation will travel to China this month to finalize agreement, Chinese newspaper reports

Beijing, China, Sep 18, 2018 CNA.- A newspaper tied to the Chinese Communist Party reported Tuesday that a delegation of Vatican officials will head to ...

World
Media reporting Vatican-China agreement could be signed in late September

HONG KONG (CNS) -- The long-awaited Sino-Vatican agreement on the nomination of bishops is expected to be signed in September, reported several media ...

World
Update: Irish singer Bono calls pope 'extraordinary man for extraordinary times'

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Bono, the lead singer of the Irish band U2, said he told Pope Francis that in Ireland "it looks as though the abusers are being ...

World
Cardinal Marx says mistakes were made, calls for change in German church

Cardinal Reinhard Marx, head of the German bishops' conference, admitted that mistakes were made in the German church's handling of sex abuse of minors ...

Nation
Church crisis response: Healing Masses, listening sessions, fasting

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In response to the sexual abuse crisis in the church, Catholics are praying for victims, talking about their frustration and anger, ...

Nation
Pope names Minnesota priest as auxiliary bishop of Hartford

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Pope Francis has appointed Father Juan M. Betancourt, a priest in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as auxiliary bishop ...

World
Listening church: Pope gives new vision for Synod of Bishops

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Synod of Bishops increasingly should be a structure for listening to the Catholic faithful, demonstrating a local bishop's concern ...

Nation
Director of Courage releases letter on Penn. abuse report

Washington D.C., Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Courage International, an apostolate to support people with same sex-attraction in leading chaste lives, has issued ...

Nation
Richmond bishop apologizes to victims; commits to opening, reviewing files

RICHMOND, Va. (CNS) -- In celebrating the Diocese of Richmond's first Mass of Atonement for victims of abuse Sept. 14, Bishop Barry C. Knestout apologized ...

Nation
Advocates decry historically low cap for refugee entry in 2019

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Advocates for refugee admissions into the United States decried what one statement called a historically low cap of 30,000 for fiscal ...

Nation
Stanford University to remove saint's name from some properties

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- California's Stanford University will strip the name of 18th-century Franciscan friar, St. Junipero Serra, from some of its properties ...

Nation
Catholic Charities distributes disaster relief to areas hit by Florence

RALEIGH, N.C. (CNS) -- The Carolinas were hard hit with record rainfall and flooding rivers from tropical storm Florence since it made landfall Sept. ...

Nation
Archbishop Lori assures diocese he's with them in journey toward healing

WHEELING, W.Va. (CNS) -- In his celebration of Mass at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling Sept. 15, Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore said ...

World
Bishop takes a (sky) dive to get pilgrims to Lourdes

HOVE, England (CNS) -- "The Moth has landed," tweeted the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton. The tweet Sept. 14 and a similar post on the diocesan Facebook ...

World
Words, promises are not enough to prevent abuse, archbishop says

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Inviting presidents of the world's bishops' conference to the Vatican to discuss abuse prevention reflects an understanding that ...

World
Pope praises Capuchin order's charism of authenticity, simplicity

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Capuchins are called to be men of peace, reconciliation and prayer and to be close to all people, Pope Francis told members of the ...

Nation
Path to healing starts with seeking forgiveness, Cardinal Wuerl says

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- A "Season of Healing" for sexual abuse survivors began in the Archdiocese of Washington with a Sept. 14 Mass at the Cathedral of St. ...

World
Archbishop McCarrick's unofficial role in Vatican-China relations

Vatican City, Sep 17, 2018 CNA.- Following reports that the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China could be about to sign an agreement ...

Nation
Archbishop Chaput: When we forget faith, we forget our humanity

Spokane, Wash., Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- When man tries to cling to reason and separate himself from faith, he forgets who he is and loses his source of hope, ...

World
Pope Francis warns priests against living a double life

Palermo, Italy, Sep 15, 2018 CNA/EWTN News.- During a day trip to Sicily Saturday, Pope Francis told priests and religious to fight their vices and strive ...

World
What is the pontifical secret?

Vatican City, Sep 14, 2018 CNA.- Following the allegations made by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò about the case of Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, ...

World
Catholic workers say U.S. aid cuts to Palestinians could be disastrous

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- The U.S. budgetary cuts to humanitarian aid institutions helping Palestinians could lead to long-term disastrous consequences, said ...